Ferrari 296 GTB (2022) review Car News

Meanwhile, the five ride modes range from Wet (high stability control) to ESC Off (you’re on your own, mate). And the electronically controlled dampers offer two states, which you can switch between in each drive mode.

What has marked previous Ferraris of this type is that it doesn’t really matter what mode you’re in: it’s a fact that you have bags of power and it’s not no need to use it all, because it’s engaging anyway.

The same goes for the 296 GTB as a road car. The ride is fine in the softer damper setting, with a little crackle on bad surfaces in the stiffer; but anyway, he breathes easily.

The steering has a little more initial heft than we’re used to – one of the benefits of an EPAS system is the degree of adjustability. So although the steering ratio is quicker than the F8 Tributo and there are just under two turns between locks, it initially feels more stable, but the car still corners with real vigour.

There’s a tremendous blend of character to the way the 296 GTB drives – flow for steering, handling and cornering.

And the engine is special. The V6 revs to 8500 rpm and delivers immediate responses, despite its exceptionally high specific power, because if there’s a turbo lag, the engine can fill it up (and act as a traction control system, lowering revs faster than could be achieved by switching the ignition off or applying the brakes).

Ferrari even talks about it as a V12, thanks to an evenly spaced firing order and a tube running from the exhaust to the cabin to carry the sound, tuned to allow higher third-order notes. So they call this engine the piccolino (Italian for a bit) V12. You might think it’s a marketing bluff – until you hear it. Then you’ll think they might be right.

Does this car feel heavier and heavier than the F8 Tributo? I am not sure; It’s been a long time. But I spent time in the 296 GTB thinking “this car doesn’t feel heavy” rather than “this car feels light”. Again, this is the daily version; a faster, more track-focused variant will follow.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-06 23:01:24

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